Reducing waste at your events

Have a waste-free approach when you plan an event - check out our free resources.

Our goal: waste-free for a smart city

In Wellington we don't take our natural wonderland for granted. We are smart about conserving and reusing our resources.

Be a waste minimisation hero

  • Commit to reducing your waste
  • Understand your event’s waste
  • Develop a site plan
  • Appoint an on-site waste operations manager
  • Educate staff and volunteers
  • Engage stakeholders
  • Share your message loud and clear –- with the media, your staff and volunteers, and event attendees.

Waste management planning for significant events

If you’re planning an event with more than 1,000 people outdoors, or more than 5,000 people indoors, you’ll need to submit an Event Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

See who needs to complete one, what the plan covers, and what you’ll need to consider before completing your plan:

Waste management for significant events


Reducing waste at your event booklet

Our handy free guide for recycling at events contains case studies and everything you need to plan, organise and execute a waste-free event, no matter how big or small.

Find out how to:

  • reduce, reuse and recycle
  • develop a site plan
  • appoint an on-site waste operations manager
  • engage stakeholders
  • educate staff, volunteers and attendees at your event
  • write an event waste policy.

Reducing waste at your event (1.80MB PDF)

Event packaging guidelines

The guide helps event organisers and vendors minimise waste from food packaging.

Event packaging guidelines (1.06MB PDF)

Free bins

We have 15 sets of 240L bins with hoods that you can use for free at events held in Wellington city.

Each bin set includes:

  • one green bin for organics
  • one blue bin for glass
  • one yellow bin for plastic and tins / cans
  • one red bin for general rubbish.

Choose from any of these if you don't want to borrow them all.

Apply online

Conditions for borrowing the free bins

  1. The bins must be monitored by at least one person for the duration of the event to make sure the bins are used correctly.
  2. You must organise for the collection and disposal of all waste collected at the event.


The following items are accepted in Wellington City compost facility:

  • unbleached paper products, such as bowls, plates, napkins or paper bags
  • wooden or bamboo cutlery
  • some sugarcane, bagasse, and bamboo products.

Bioplastics, which is the clear hard plastic PLA, are not accepted.

Advice on how to minimise waste

We can help educate your team on the actions you can take to minimise waste at your event. Email us on

Koha event kits

Newtown Community and Cultural Centre’s Wash against Waste provides free kits of crockery, plates and napkins for your events for a koha. Find out more in our events section.

Waste Matters video series on Zero Waste events

View the Waste Matters playlist to view the following videos

  • Zero waste events - for vendors and stallholders - YouTube video
  • Zero waste events - waste monitors (volunteers who stand by the bins helping event attendees with which bins to use) - YouTube video
  • Zero waste events - for event organisers and waste contractors - YouTube video

Feel free to share these videos with your team and the stakeholders of your event.